Reacting to Steve Jobs iPad Keynote!
Okay, this right here is why steve jobs is just a master presenter at the height of his keynote craft. He gets everyone going with a joke with an icebreaker with a laugh, but i think it’s far more interesting to actually go into what he’s not saying here and that’s the actual history. About of what he’s about to discuss the purple experience project, which was originally gon na, be a tablet, and there are sort of two different stories, maybe they’re both true, maybe one or the other is true. You’Ll have to judge for yourself. The first is that steve jobs, wife laureen, had a friend and her friend’s husband worked at microsoft and one day he came over for dinner, and he was talking about how microsoft was getting ready to revolutionize the personal computer with tablet pc and a stylus. And it sounds like steve: jobs just threw up a little bit in his brain stem and immediately called his team together and said no, not on my watch better than the laptop better than the smartphone and, of course the other story. Is that steve just really really really wanted a touch based tablet that he could use to triage email in the bathroom in order to really create a new category of devices? Those devices are gon na have to be far better at doing some key tasks. What kind of tasks well things like browsing? The web they’d been using internet explorer on the mac, but they really wanted to own their own web technology, so they hired don melton who’d been working at mozilla on what became firefox to come to apple and create the alexander project and because mozilla’s code base was Bigger than os x at the time that was just never going to happen.
That was a non starter, so they looked at k, html conqueror, which was an open source browser framework and they forked that off and made webkit for originally the mac. But then, when the iphone came out, they wanted to bring what they called real grown up, browsing to smartphones and now with the ipad, they were going to be able to take advantage of that and just scale the browser back up to a larger screen, if not To full on computing functionality, at least not yet doing email, if you believe that second story, the original purpose of the ipad enjoying and sharing photographs – and that was something that become hugely successful on the iphone. The ability to look at your photos on a big screen at the time and pinch and zoom and do those sorts of things. It was the kind of feature that you demonstrated to your friends that you evangelized to your friends that made them want to get iphones and it was the work you know designer mike mattis, who then went to work on making a version for the ipad reading. Ebooks. Just prior to this keynote, not very long before steve jobs, very publicly downplayed the importance of ebooks, saying people, don’t read anymore and there’s. This famous anecdote about scott forrestall coming to see steve. I think it was like about facebook, integration and steve saying you know he really didn’t give a talk to me about ebooks and then saying you got to you know, drop everything, get a team working on ebooks, because i need an ebook reader, an ebook store.
I need all of that built and ready to ship with the ipad, which was coming up in mere months now. Some people have thought that that’s a netbook, the problem is netbooks aren’t better at anything for years, apple was being hammered by analysts, saying: where is your answer to netbooks? Where is your answer to netbooks? They have low quality displays and they run clunky old, pc software. So they’re not better than a laptop at anything they’re, just cheaper they’re, just cheap laptops and steve was so good. At this too, he was so good at putting the competition in the absolute worst light possible, he’s, focusing on all the negatives of netbooks. So he can show in juxtaposition all the advantages, all the benefits of what he’s about to announce next, but we think we’ve got something that is and we’d like to show it to you today for the first time and we call it the ipad people made so Much fun of this name going into the show when the names started leaking just all the jokes that you can possibly imagine, but in hindsight perfectly obvious ipod iphone imac ipad that’s. What it looks like very thin looks just like this Music, so he’s not pulling it out of a manila envelope. It’S, not quite it’s, not quite the stagecraft that he used for the original macbook air unveiling, but it’s still one of those historic moments, and you can change the background screen the home screen to personalize it any way you want people put their own photos on it.
I’M sure, but we ship a few and you can make it anything you want. Originally it wasn’t going to have wallpaper. It was going to have just the solid black color. The way the iphone did at the time, because frame rate was just everything at apple, then everything had to be 60 frames per second, zero dropped frames tolerated and the graphics just weren’t, capable of doing the level of compositing needed at 60 frames per second. Yet so steve said yeah i want wallpaper and the engineers had to work through the holidays, because this was a january unveiling remember so you had to work over christmas over a new year to get wallpaper working for the ipad phenomenal for mail. I want to focus in on a message you can do that see your inbox again. Just turn ipad sideways, get a different view on your mail, steve jobs just originally wanted the iphone interface ported straight over to the ipad, meaning that single column view, but some of the ui kit engineers pushed back saying that that was sort of wasteful and not ideal. At all, given the aspect, ratio and the size of the ipad – and it would be way better having a split view – controller, which essentially means a list of items on the left hand side. And when you pick any of those items, you get the full details. The full page, on the right hand, side one of the things i think.
A lot of people who want to be steve jobs get wrong is that he was an auteur, but he was not a dictator. He had strong opinions loosely held and he hired really smart people because he wanted them to argue with him famously putting itunes on windows later making an ipad mini here, getting multi columns on the ipad. He would have a very strong opinion until you convinced him otherwise, and then he would spin on a dime and have that new opinion so strongly. He probably thought he’d come up with it to begin with, and in fact here it is even ironic a little bit because later that would be one of the things that he’d use to criticize early android tablets, saying they were just blown up smartphones that they just Had blown up smartphone interfaces and there, but for the grace of some ui kit, engineers would have gone apple. So that gives you a little overview of what the ipad can do, but it’s nothing like seeing it steve jobs wanted a la cor bozier chair. He wanted to be able to sit there on the stage and lean back again. The iphone was for moving for triaging for leaning into things, and the ipad was for aggregating for reporting for leaning back for enjoying things, and he wanted to be able to show that experience on stage. So he had you know the the events team at apple go out and pick up just a bunch of le corbusier chairs and he went through them on stage under that lighting, each and every one of them to see what the color looked like.
Under that light. What the wear looked like, how it felt when he sat in it and then he chose his platonic ideal, his la corbusier prime, the one chair to rule them all, and that was the one he famously did this demo in and touched the new york times. Let’S say – and here we are right at the new york times – you can see how fast it is – and i can just scroll around here and look at the whole front page of the new york times without paying any attention to not noticing not indicating in any Way that broken puzzle piece lego block right in the middle, where the lack of a flash plug in is just causing that, basically, that rendering error box – and this was a huge debate back then some people really thought the iphone. By extension, the ipad would be dead on arrival because they didn’t support flash the macro media, then adobe web, rendering technology that was sort of created back then to fill in the gap. Things that the web just didn’t, do well yet sort of like how microsoft had activex in the old days and adobe. You know just recently declared flash officially mdk murder death killed gone and it was sort of hilarious, not even in hindsight, but at the time back. Then that other vendors from palm to blackberry, to you know some of the android vendors pinned their hopes and dreams of competing with the ipad on supporting flash when it was just so clearly a dead end technology ipad is powered by our own custom silicon.
We have an incredible group that does custom silicon at apple. We have a chip called a4, which is our most advanced chip, we’ve ever done that powers, the ipad and there it is at least to me one of the most important announcements apple has ever made their very first custom chip and the story is he wanted apple? He wanted somebody who could find the best chipsets for apple devices to again take control of what apple considered to be the most important, the core technologies, the things they needed to own to make differentiated, truly differentiated integrated products, and this was the beginning of all that. It’S got a 30 pin connector, so it plugs into the whole ecosystem of ipod accessories. There are prototypes of earlier ipads out there that had two dock connectors, one for the portrait mode, the one that we have today and one on the side, one in landscape mode, but because again steve jobs being steve jobs and thinking black and white are just one Too many options he insisted that apple go with only one dock, connector and apple even had a keyboard for it long before the smart keyboard long before the magic keyboard that had the 30 pin dock connector on it. So you had to awkwardly, interestingly plug into that original keyboard in portrait mode. With the ipad we’ve been able to achieve 10 hours of battery a half pound life og ipad 2010. They picked 10 hours to be the battery life for the ipad and over the years they have stuck to that they could have made it even thinner earlier and reduced the battery life.
They could have kept it thicker longer and increased the battery life, but no i’m not going to do it. It is 10 hours. You can have any battery capacity. You want, as long as what you want, is 10 hours and that so far has not changed at all. Well, if you listen to the pundits we’re going to price it under a thousand dollars, which is code for 9.99 – and this is something that i think leaked via the wall street journal back then – and some people have said that you know apple was behind it. They were going to set expectations really high so that they could exceed them by going much lower than that, and you know who knows: ipad pricing starts not at 9.99, but at just 499 and there it is, you know, set up the price and then beat it By half, and one of the stories that spun out of this that have been reported about this moment – is that, yes, absolutely it took a visionary like steve jobs. You know, and the team at apple to figure out how to make the tablet how to take the tablet mainstream, but it took a logistical expert, like tim cook and his ops, his operational organization, to figure out how to make it for 4.99. Okay, this is getting just way too long for youtube, so make sure you check out the full version up on nebula that’s, the streaming service, where i can post extended, cuts, bonus, content, bloopers, tangents, whole entire originals.
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